In the month of August 2008, I vowed to change my life. In a big way. And so I began on my long journey. My journey to sculpted arms.
100 push-ups. That is the number of push-ups I do every single day and have done every single day since August of 2008. On vacation? I’ve done them on the floor of a dirty trailer. One time I almost forgot and woke up in a sweat. I managed to complete my 100 before the 12 a.m. mark and was able to rest soundly. So now, you assume, I must have Jillian Michaels-like arms? No. Not even close.
Clearly I need to incorporate some weight training into my regimen. But I’m lazy. During this time where I’ve loyally devoted the 2 minutes needed to complete my push-up commitment, I’ve probably done the equivalent of 25 sit-ups. I just don’t have the desire to do anything beyond running. Instead, I just continue to do push-ups out of habit and envy from afar those with the discipline to pick up a dumbbell.
While we’re on the topic of Jillian, let me just go ahead and admit that I watched The Biggest Loser last night. Oh, reality television, you make me feel so dirty.
I couldn’t help myself and I couldn’t help but wonder: is running 50 miles a week enough? The most strenuous part of my 9 mile jaunt today was properly aligning my head so the wind wouldn’t blow my hat off. Here are these contestants pushing their bodies and minds to limits that leave them on the breaking point and, more than occasionally, actually breaking. Followed by performing tasks worthy of celebration dances that I’m sure they will regret upon viewing on national television. I personally never keel over mid-run and sob through a tirade of how I spent my childhood literally hiding in a closet, trying to save my mom from her heroin addiction, all while stuffing my face on cheese fries to avoid the painful realization that I was unloved.
Ok, I’ll admit that these events never happened in my life. The only thing my mom is addicted to is Big Brother (you see where I get my trashy TV tastes), my closet is too small to provide an adequate hiding space, and I don’t eat cheese. I’ll also admit that I do have breakdowns. Just not mid-workout. Instead, these events occur in the comfort of my automobile, with the windows sealed shut and the guarantee that no other human beings will be present to witness the event. Not while a camera is pressed in my face and a robot-like trainer is screaming at me all while trying to ascertain what appears to be an understanding of human emotion.
Is it the weight loss that pushes the contestants to these emotional breakthroughs? The fact that they are shipped away from their normal, everyday lives and forced to live on the ranch where everyone’s sole purpose is to find a reason to live and make some cash in the process? Or is Jillian some magical, mechanical trainer who is capable of unleashing your inner demons through strenuous exercise? All while sporting some Michelle Obama worthy biceps.
Although the show moves me, I can’t help by laugh at the product placement. Amanda, the girl handpicked by America to appear on the show, finally decides she is sick of just being the pretty face. This emotional breakthrough came while replacing the Brita filter for our viewing pleasure. Clearly, a revelation she would not have experienced without the sparkling fresh, filtered water from the aforementioned Brita.
And the show can’t seem to go an entire episode without plugging Jennie-O meat products. They even had trainer Bob talking up the benefits of incorporating the low-fat protein options of Jennie-O in your healthy lifestyle. This coming from Bob, the vegetarian trainer.
Also on last weeks episode was Shay, weeping to her friends about how she has finally found the reason behind her 400-plus pound frame and how she needs to start putting herself first for once. Done not while revisiting the demons of her past and sweating it out in The Biggest Loser gym, but while visiting a Subway. So, you’re telling me all I need is a veggie foot long and I’ll figure it all out?
Trashy television it may be, but label me hooked. Abby, the one contestant who could inspire Meredith Grey to see the bright side of things (pre-post-it marriage days), went home. It was inevitable. She had accepted her life as it was and vowed to love again. What kind of television does that make? How can she plug healthy turkey breast and protein powder if she spends all her camera time talking about how terrific her parents are?
I’ll be back next Tuesday. Whether I’m there to continue my envy of Jillian’s arms or to just feed a guilty pleasure, it’s a toss-up. In the meantime, I’ll continue my 100 push-up ritual while vowing to push myself a little harder in the hopes of shedding some noble tears and maybe throwing in a celebration dance of two. Or I’ll just eat a veggie foot long, throw back some filtered water, and see if that does the trick.